Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pat Gallagher

Pat Gallagher (1865-1959) of Creevane, Coolaney, Co Sligo makes an appearance in my new poetry collection which is to be published by Revival Press, Limerick in March.

Pat, my maternal great grandfather, was secretary of Killoran parish United Irish League (UIL) club from 1901 until the club faded away because of the Great War and the postponement of Home Rule around late 1914 or early 1915.

Pat later supported Sinn Féin and spent a short period in Sligo Jail in 1920 having been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a raid for arms on Cultibar House, Coolaney. He hadn’t been involved in the raid but his son, Martin Dan, who was also arrested, had taken part. Pat was a small farmer and a farm labourer and had his hand cut off in an accident with a mowing machine in the early 20s.

I found all his reports on Killoran UIL meetings published in the local newspaper, the Sligo Champion, and used extracts to form a “found poem” arranged roughly in the style of Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”. I even found a “silence” quote to match Wittgenstein’s famous last line in the book “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”

Monday, January 20, 2020

Trim Poetry Festival 2020

Trim Poetry Festival 2020, organized by Boyne Writers Group, will take place on Friday and Saturday,13 and 14 March 2020.

Friday 13 March: 7.30pm: Launch by Trim writer, Pat Dunne, of Boyne Berries 27 and of Trim Poetry Festival 2020. Readings by contributors.


Reading by Pat Dunne, Trim-born internationally successful crime writer.

Saturday 14 March: 10.00 – 12.30: Poetry Workshop with festival poet in residence, Anne Tannam. Anne Tannam is a Dublin poet with two collections: Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor (Salmon Poetry 2017) and Take This Life (WordOnTheStreet 2011).

2.30 – 4.30: Anne Tannam individual coaching clinics. These 30 minute sessions will provide support and expert advice around whatever issue or challenge is facing you in your writing practice.

2.30 – 4.30: Readings by local Writers Groups and Open Mic.

5.00 – 6.00: Trim Poetry Competition Results. Winner and runners-up announced.

7.00 – 7.30: Poetry reading by Anne Tannam.

7.30 – 8.00: Tea/Coffee

8.00 – 9.30: Launch of “Troubles” a new poetry collection by Boyne Writers member Michael Farry. Launch by Anne Tannam.

Full details including facilities to book places on Anne Tannam workshop or individual coaching clinic on the festival page here.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Two Sligo-Meath RIC Deaths

Two RIC deaths I've written about often in my history are these two who have Sligo-Meath connections. It's also nice to have photographs of both.

A poem in the voice of each will be included in my third collection to be published in March this year by Revival Press, Limerick. One of the poems, that on James Gormley, has already been published in The Corran Herald, Issue 49.

Sergeant Patrick Perry was stationed in Cliffony, County Sligo when he was killed with three other RIC men in the Cliffony/Moneygold ambush in north Sligo on 25 September 1920. He was a native of  Coolronan, Ballivor, County Meath.

He had served in Sligo for a number of years, was appointed sergeant in 1909 and was transferred from Bunninadden to Cliffony in May 1913. He was married to Margaret Sharkey from the Boyle area of Roscommon and they had 10 children. Margaret was pregnant at the time of his death. He was buried in his in-laws plot in Killaraght Cemetery in south Sligo.

One of his grandchildren is Colette Mulcahy, formerly Late Late Show production assistant, of "Roll it there, Colette" fame.

James Gormley was one of nine children of Thomas and Ellen from Ballintogher, County Sligo. His father was dead by 1911. James joined the RIC in 1912, aged 21, and served in County Meath at Slane, Enfield and Longwood.

On Friday 28 April 1916 he was among the convoy of RIC sent in motors to Ashbourne where the barracks had been attacked. The convoy was ambushed at Rath Cross, just outside Ashbourne, and James was shot dead.

He was buried in the RIC plot in Navan. His younger brother, also a member of the RIC, attended the requiem Mass. In Ballintogher nearly all the people, including the local Volunteers, turned out to attend a Requiem Mass for the dead constable.